Are Dodgers Almost Broke?

With the fate of the Los Angeles Dodgers very much in question, Bill Shaikin reports that the club doesn’t have enough cash on hand to meet team payroll at the end of this month:

The cash shortage was confirmed Tuesday by two people familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the possibility of McCourt filing suit against MLB.

McCourt received a $30-million loan from Fox last month, which provided funding for the Dodgers’ two April payrolls and is expected to carry them through the first May payroll. The second May payroll, due at month’s end, is the one that appears problematic at this time.

If the Dodgers can’t meet payroll, Major League Baseball will step in and 1) issue paychecks, and 2) perhaps seize, or attempt to seize, the franchise from embattled owner Frank McCourt.

Defiant, McCourt claims the Dodgers’ finances will be in perfectly fine shape if MLB will just approve a 20-year TV deal, worth $3 billion, that would immediately infuse $285 million into the franchise. MLB has shown little enthusiasm for such a transaction; officially, no decision will be made until “monitor” Tom Schieffer “completes his investigation into the team’s finances,” a process that will reportedly take a couple of weeks (which seems optimistic).

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